Ben Leoni and the Meatheads return with a new episode of Working For The Weekend, where the New England-based crew of expert backcountry skiers explore all the East has to offer from Leoni's home base of Portland, Maine. Despite a law career that cuts down ski time to weekends only (sound familiar?), Ben is able to sneak out onto some incredible New England terrain that will make any Beast Coaster proud, thanks in part to gym time during the week to stay fit for the daunting ascents and staying on top of avalanche conditions on the daily.
"I check the Mount Washington Avalanche Center advisory every day starting in late November," Ben said. "If we get a bunch of new snow any later than Wednesday, we almost always make the call not to ski anything above treeline that weekend. When we went to ski the first line in this webisode off of North Twin, we hadn't had new snow in a week and the pitch of the rockslide was between 32-35 degrees; right on the threshold of significant avalanche danger. But we dug a pit at the base of the chute and found really consolidated and stable snow." Game on!
Later in the winter, the crew had less luck in the Crawford Notch area. Despite 18 inches of new snow, shifting winds had squirreled away most of it out of the chute. After booting up bare ground and then ascending through the trees along the chute, the crew found good pow in the tight section at the very top but then had to descend the rest of the way on the old refrozen rain crust before having to downclimb the bare bottom section. "It sucked so bad!" Unfortunately, they wouldn't get much of a chance later in the season for redemption, as by springtime the meltwater running under the slide would undermine the stability of the snow above it.